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Genetic-testing industry, an editorial from "Nature Publishing Group"

One of 3 interesting editorials from Nature's recent issue is entitled: "Ready or not, Transparency and honesty are essential if the genetic-testing industry is to live up to its potential".(1)
Observing that genome-wide association studies,

...pour out of labs, linking the blips in our genetic make-up to risks of developing particular medical conditions...the ink on the research papers is barely dry before companies unveil commercial versions of the tests....

In response, the editorial notes,
Following almost as quickly are the concerns being raised about some of the use of such tests....if consumers are to reap the benefits that genetic testing can offer, they need understandable information about the basis , validity, and limitations of the tests.
One proposed structure for providing this information is a publicly accessible registry into which test-makers would be required to upload data about their tests and the studies that back them. This information should be updated as genetic risks are changed or refined , as inevitably they will be....

Following more helpful, thoughtful observations shared by scientists on how we use the fruits of discovery, this editorial concludes that:
It is also worth noting that the scientists who have driven this revolution need to assume a prominent role in ensuring that its benefits are not mishandled. Those who start companies, or advise them, can and must lead the way in ensuring that their enterprises are transparent and valid....

Additional editorials here are entitled:
" Defining 'natural', Visceral reactions to an act should not distract from the real ethical issues" and
"The path to productive partnerships, Research funders and institutions do too little to sustain the collaborations that they encourage". (2)


(1) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7188/pdf/452666a.pdf
(2) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7188/pdf/452665a.pdf

Nature online at www.nature.com, Vol 452 Issue no. 7188 April 10, 2008

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